Be A Man

Picture it (yes, I just invoked the spirit of Sophia Petrillo):

You’re sitting in a coffee shop.  A pretty girl walks in, probably late teens.  She has on a sweatshirt that reads “Girls Track and Field State Champions” on the front.  Then she turns around and you see “BE A MAN” on the back.  HUH?!?!  That can’t possible be right, can it?  So you scootch your chair around to get a better look.  Yep, definitely says “BE A MAN” on the back and “Girls Track and Field State Champions” on the front.

What?!

This morning I read this article about fashion’s new “it-girl” who just happens to be… a boy.

 

Andrej Pejic wearing Jean Paul Gaultier

Apparently, the demands of the fashion industry have become so great that females just don’t cut it anymore.  No matter how much you starve yourself, how willowy and waif-like you become, a female can never be as flat-chested and hip-free as a teenage boy.

Again… What?!

The messages we as a society have been sending our girls and women have been *insert negative adjective here* for quite some time.  But really, what have we come to?  A young girl is obviously quite accomplished in her chosen sport, and yet she’s given a shirt that insinuates her gender is not good enough.  Accomplished though she is, it’s still preferable to “be a man”.  Females are physically unable to meet the shapeless demands of an industry intended for them so we have to seek out teenage boys to wear clothes designed for women.  Yeah, that makes sense.

Why is being a girl a bad thing?  Why can’t girls be girls and boys be boys and if you feel like you fall somewhere in the middle, well be that if you want.  (And surely someone, somewhere will make the argument that what’s really wrong with a boy modeling girl’s clothes if that’s what he wants to do… not the point of this particular rant.)  But why can’t a girl just be a girl?  Whatever that means to her…

You know that old adage, “sugar and spice and everything nice”… I know this phrase is often seen as archaic, a remnant of a patriarchal understanding of femininity, but I actually think this is quite a fitting description of girls.  Some of us might be a tangy cinnamon or a soothing lavender, while others are more of a smoky cumin or piquant mustard.  There is room for the fresh minty girls and the deep, earthy cardamom ladies.  Occasionally we come across the offensive anise and the burning horseradish, but they have a place, too.  And none of us, no matter how spicy we are, need to “be a man” or be replaced by a man.

That is all.

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